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Spinner Hanger Blast Machine Produces Eight Times Faster Processing Times

Spinner hanger blast machine

Spinner hanger blast machine produces eight times faster processing times Improved quality and lower costs through automated shot blasting  operation  

The lack of flexibility and unsatisfactory powder coating qualities at external job  shops induced a Dutch manufacturer of industrial furniture to bring its coating  operation in-house. Unlike its competitors, the company decided to also do the paint  preparation by shot blasting in-house with an automatic shot blasting machine from  Rösler. Compared to manual processes, the shot blasting cycle times are not only  eight times faster, but the automatic solution also produces better qualities at lower  costs. This resulted in a significant competitive advantage.  

ML Constructie produces small tools and industrial furniture. In addition, the company  serves other manufacturers with a laser cutting service for sheet metal, tubes and semi finished products. In the past industrial furniture was generally sold without any protective  coating. However, in recent years customers increasingly demanded the furniture to be  painted. Due to the rapidly growing demand for color coated products, the company initially  had the shot blasting and powder coating of the furniture done by external job shops. Ben  Luizink, co-owner of ML Constructie, reports: „We were not satisfied with the handling of  our work by the external job shops. Due to long lead times we could not deliver our products  as quickly as we wanted. Moreover, most of the time the coating quality did not meet our  specifications. For example, we found residual sand from the sand blasting operation on  our products. And the coating thickness was generally insufficient. To better control the  blasting and coating operations we created our own in-house coating department.” That’s  how a few years ago ML Coating was started. Since then it has grown into a coating  company that shot blasts and powder coats its own products and provides blasting and  coating services to other companies.  

Quick investment in a spinner hanger blast machine  

One of the first purchases by the newly created company was a spinner hanger blast  machine from Rösler. Mike Luizink remembers: „Pre-condition for achieving a  homogeneous, high-quality coating is that the components are thoroughly and precisely shot blasted. Most companies in our area still do this manually. However, right from the  beginning we decided to automate the entire shot blasting operation.” 

More comfortable working conditions and higher shot blasting qualities  Since manual blast operations are hard and exhausting, it is very difficult to find and keep  the people for this kind of work. With the Rösler blast machine the employees must only  place the work pieces onto the respective fixtures and remove them after the blast process.  Another significant contribution towards a better working environment was the low noise  emission, which is considerably lower than the noise from manual blast rooms. Moreover,  the automated shot blast process is eight to ten times faster. While in manual blast rooms  media quantities about six kg are dispensed per minute, each of the four blast turbines in  the spinner hanger machine throws 150 kg of media at the work pieces every minute.  Another benefit is that the spinner hanger blast machine is equipped with two rails in “Y”  design. This allows the operator to place work pieces onto the fixture at one rail branch,  while the work pieces from the other rail branch are being blasted. Therefore, unproductive  idle equipment times are more or less completely eliminated. Last but not least, the overall  blast cleaning quality is considerably better. “In the automated shot blast process the blast  media is getting into even the tiniest work piece corners. This is nearly impossible with  manual shot blasting operations”, comments Ben Luizink and continues: „The Rösler shot  blast machine is very tight and emits practically no dust. Since we are coating the work  pieces in the same hall, this is a huge benefit.”  

Lower media and energy consumption results in significant cost savings  That shorter processing times result in lower costs is quite obvious. However, ML Coating  achieved significant cost savings in other areas. „After ten blast cycles the sand used in  manual shot blast operations becomes dust and is, therefore, no longer usable. This  produces a lot of waste material,” explains Ben Luizink. „Another drawback of manual blast  operations is that the sand remains in tight corners of the work pieces and is, therefore, lost.  In automated shot blasting machines the entire quantity of thrown blast media is collected  in the bottom and transported to the media cleaning system with special augers. This  ensures a much longer usable life of the blast media. An additional advantage is that  significantly harder blast media can be used.” 

In manual blast rooms the compressed air needed for the blast operation is generated by  compressors requiring a high energy input. In the new Rösler shot blast machine the blast  media is accelerated by direct-drive electric turbines. Ben Luizink explains: „The turbines  require a lot less energy than media acceleration by compressed air.” Another important energy-saving feature in the Rösler machine are the Rösler Gamma G turbines with their  curved throwing blades. Because of the curved blade design the blast media leaves the  throwing blades at a higher speed without additional energy requirements. This results in a  higher impact velocity of the media on the work pieces. The energy consumption can be  further reduced by intelligent adjustment of the turbine RPM. For example, delicate  components can be blasted at 1,500 RPM, whereas stripping of old paint can take place  with 3,000 RPM.  

Smooth order processing and trouble-free commissioning  

Ben Luizink remarks: „During the entire project we had optimal support from Rösler. Initially,  the Rösler engineers helped us to decide which shot blast machine is best for us.” Once the  decision had been made, the implementation started. For example, for an optimal  placement of the machine in the hall the standard equipment layout had to be modified, and  the dust collector had to be relocated. Various preparatory work like the installation of  electrical conduits and the pouring of various concrete foundations was done by the  customer. After a brief review of this work by Rösler the blast machine was installed and  commissioned. „Installation and commissioning were completed within one week. After a  short operator and maintenance training we were able to fully utilize the machine”, explains Ben Luizink. 

Automated shot blasting provides a competitive advantage  

At the moment ML Coating is the only company of its kind in the region that does its shot  blasting operation fully automatically. Around 80 % of all work pieces can be processed in  the spinner hanger blast machine. The remaining work pieces, for example very large and  heavy components are blasted manually. If needed, very delicate components can be pre 

treated chemically.  

About 50 % of the work pieces processed in the automatic Rösler blast machine are  components for ML Constructie, whereas the other 50 % are prepared for coating jobs for  external customers. Overall ML Coating achieves excellent shot blasting results, and the  company is highly satisfied with the easy operation of the Rösler machine. „We can easily  adjust the shot blast parameters such as throwing speed and blast time. This allows us to  create work piece specific programs for the various product groups. At the moment we work  with twelve programs, which are more than sufficient for our current shot blasting needs,” concludes Ben Luizink.

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